B&H Publishing Group is pleased to announce the acquisition of the true life story of Stephen Owens and his mother Gaile Owens, who gained national headlines as the first woman sentenced to death in Tennessee since 1837. The book is scheduled for release in fall 2013.
Acquisitions editor Dawn Woods explains, “This is the riveting story of a Christian family destroyed by deceit, betrayal, and murder that leads to an astonishing triumph of reconciliation.”
Once a thirteen-year-old called to testify against his mother for his father’s tragic death, Stephen Owens, now in his mid-thirties, shares the God-orchestrated journey that put him back in touch with Gaile after almost twenty-five years. Stephen’s journey began when colleague Steve Wilson invited him to speak to a freshman student class where he shared details of his past. Unknown to both of them at the time, Wilson had met Gaile at a Bible study for inmates that he had led over ten years earlier. It was a surprise to Stephen as well.
“It was the nudge I needed to initiate contact with my mother,” Stephen explains. “I believe God placed Steve Wilson in my path. I do not believe in coincidence; I believe in God.”
Ironically, Stephen, the witness who helped send Gaile to death row, became her strongest advocate. The ensuing cause to ensure Gaile had received a fair trial drew the attention of supporters including John Seigenthaler, Sr., former publisher and editor of the The Tennessean and as the founding editorial director of USA Today. Seigenthaler will write the foreword to Stephen’s book.
Ken Abraham, who has collaborated on New York Times best sellers that include Let’s Roll (Lisa Beamer), Your Best Life Now (Joel Osteen), Magnificent Desolation (Buzz Aldrin), and Payne Stewart, The Authorized Biography (Tracey Stewart), will work with Stephen to pen the story.
As a result of Stephen’s efforts and those of others, Gaile sentence was commuted to life and is now free on parole. Stephen will use the story to assist those struggling with past hurts due to violent crimes and emotional or physical abuse. The release of Stephen’s book will allow both he and Gaile to discuss the forgiveness and mercy that are the center of their relationship, as well as inspire others with their faith.
B&H Publishing Group, a division of LifeWay Christian Resources, is a team of more than 100 mission-minded people with a passion for taking God’s Word to the world. Because we believe Every Word Matters we seek to provide intentional, Bible-centered content that positively impacts the hearts and minds of people, inspiring them to build a lifelong relationship with Jesus Christ. Among our print and digital releases for the trade, church, and academic markets, titles include New York Times No. 1 bestsellers The Love Dare and The Vow as well as the award-winning HCSB Study Bible.